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Contempt of Parliament

From March 26, 2011

For the record, the Conservative government was not brought down by a vote against their budget. Some appear to be confused by this fact–confusion that some others are happy to perpetuate. The budget was not voted on. But if the budget reached a vote, it still could have passed if the minority Conservatives had amended it to meet the concerns of any one of the other three parties in parliament.

The motion that brought down the government read "That the House agree with the finding of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs that the government is in contempt of Parliament, which is unprecedented in Canadian parliamentary history, and consequently, the House has lost confidence in the government."

For refusing to release to parliament the actual cost estimates for their no-bid fighter jets, their corporate tax cuts, and their 18 crime bills, the Conservatives were found in contempt of Parliament. These official estimates, which the Conservatives tried to keep secret from opposition MPs, were significantly higher than the numbers they publicly admitted. It was this breach of parliamentary privilege that sealed the fate of the 40th Parliament. So an election, in a little over a month, will give us a 41st Parliament, followed by the presentation of a new (or possibly the same) budget.

If not for Stephen Harper's strange preoccupation with secrecy and control, at the expense of the democratic process, his government could still be standing, and his budget might have been passed.

Isn't it time the Conservatives sought a new leader?